The Clone Wars cartoon introduced the character of Ahsoka Tano, Anakin's apprentice, who was assigned to him by the Council shortly after his own knighting.

There are two parts to my curiosity:

A) Why/How/Since when did the council assign padawans to masters?

By all accounts so far, Jedi seem to choose their own apprentices - with the decision to do so or not, and the identity of the apprentice, both being initiated by the master-to-be. However, Ahsoka gets assigned to Anakin by the Council - until they meet he seems to be under the impression that the new Padawan is going to be Obi-Wan's apprentice.

So why was this apprenticeship initiated and assigned by the Council? Is this supposed to be the new canon/usual way of master-padawan selection or is it a special case? If the latter, why?

B) Why did the Council feel like it was a good idea to assign a Padawan to Anakin almost immediately after getting knighted?

Especially when this meant assigning a 14-year-old Padawan to a 19-year-old Knight, and furthermore a 19-year-old who was expected to be in the thick of things by virtue of his identity.

I'm looking for anything which might have been revealed in the series itself (I haven't watched it all) or which the creators might have said in interviews, at cons, etc.

  • 3
    The only reason I can think of is that it was done for giggles. Everyone (except Anakin) seems to think that it's genuinely funny.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 18:58
  • 2
    I got the impression that both Yoda and Obi-Wan thought it would be good for Anakin... maybe make him grow up a little or something. Of course, the fact that he in no way expected or wanted a padawan is what made it funny.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 19:18
  • I believe it has been answered in The Clone Wars movie...
    – user931
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 0:46

5 Answers 5


Since your question is in two parts, it needs answering in two parts

Why was Anakin assigned a Padawan?

This is discussed in the new (and fully canon) reference book "Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know":

Q. Why does Yoda give Anakin a Padawan?

A. Yoda knows Anakin still carries many fears and cannot let go of his tragic past. He hopes that by teaching the Padawan Ahsoka Tano the young Jedi will learn that he does not need to be so protective of those who he loves.

Given that Anakin's overprotectiveness (of Padmé) leads to the downfall of the Jedi order, the enslavement of the Galaxy and billions of deaths, it has to be said that Yoda's plan can't be considered an unqualified success.

Since when does the Council assign Padawans?

According to the Star Wars: The Jedi Path - A Manual for Students of the Force, the council does occasionally assign Padawans to masters when it's seen (through a vision in the Force) that such a match would be fortuitous:

The Council is generally not involved in the pairing of a Master and a Padawan. The Force will act as a guide, expressing itself through this bond, and rarely needs outside help. However, Jedi Seers have at times perceived destinies that require a particular arrangement of players. In these decisions, the will of the Force — and by extension, the will of the Council — must be honored. The Council's word is final.

  • The Clone Wars cartoon (I can't remember if it's the movie or one of the episodes) explicitly states that the Council (Yoda) hopes that training a Padawan will help Anakin deal with attachments because the Padawan, eventually, must move on. Of course, this seems to backfire when Ahsoka has her, erm, crisis towards the end of the Clone Wars series. So, the show seems to state it's more about teaching Anakin to "let-go" then it is to not be so protective. They're pretty similar concepts, so I understand why the reference book says that, but they're just different enough to be worth noting.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 18:51

A) Masters could choose their own Padawans if they wanted. However, if they did so in the face of the Council's disapproval, it would most likely lead to them being labelled a "Gray Jedi" and the quashing of any future advancement of that Master/Knight's career - at least for as long as they continued to defy the Council's will (as was the case with Qui-Gonn).

B) I was always under the impression that it was meant to teach Anakin responsibility. He was always a prideful and headstrong Jedi, and the Council probably thought that assigning him a Padawan of similar temperament would rectify that.


The only padwan I can think of that anybody took on during the series was Obi-Wan taking on Anakin, and the council definitely decided that one.

"Decided, the council has. Train him, you will." - Yoda, Episode 1

So this seems to be the normal way things are done - the council assigns padwans, masters do not get to 'choose' their apprentice. Obi-Wan had an interest in being his teacher, but it was not his decision to make.

As for why the council chose Anakin...that I cannot say. But, judging by the age Obi-Wan is compared to his own master, Qui-Gonn (not that far apart), this seems to be the average age at which a padwan is assigned to a master.

  • 4
    I didn't read the EU books from that period much, but I distinctly remember Yoda making a wager with a Knight in Dark Apprentice, where the Knight promised to take a girl as his apprentice if she won a tournament. She promptly did. The implication was that neither the Knight had the right to choose his own Padawan. You're also omitting the first half of that quote, where Obi-Wan states that he'll train Anakin "without the Council's approval." It seems likely that the Council signs off, so to speak, on Knights' decisions regarding Padawans more often than it gives them orders. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 22:17
  • 1
    In Obi-Wan's case, for one thing, it seems to me he expressed interest first (and gave an ultimatum that he'd do it even if the council disapproved) after which the Council went fine, we'll 'allow' this. As for age, Qui-Gon was 60 to Obi-Wan's 25 in TPM, so the age does not seem comparable. Obi-Wan and Anakin are more slightly comparable but at 25 and 9, not nearly enough and again the incidence of taking a Padawan immediately after knighting seemed to be a matter of special circumstances and QG's dying wish.
    – Shisa
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 0:49
  • 1
    @JamesSheridan I think you mean Dark Rendezvous.
    – jliv902
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 23:04
  • @jliv902: I think you're right. I was never a fan of the Clone Wars stuff, so I don't recall much of it. Thanks. Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 1:45

So, it seems to me that they changed this in The Clone Wars from what it was before. The Council could suggest Padawans but the Masters had to accept, or chose their own, which the Council would have to agree on before they could go on training. Sometimes it was actual approval and other times it wasn't, e.g. the difference between Anakin being taken on and Bant. There were some tournaments to try and attract the attention of Masters. Obi-Wan participated in one to get Qui-Gon's attention and Scout won another to gain her second master.

As for the age gap between Obi-Wan and Anakin vs. the one between Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, you have to remember that Obi-Wan wasn't his first apprentice, and that there's no limit to how old or young a Master has to be. I agree with the reasoning that Ahsoka was assigned to Anakin to try and teach him some responsibility, and I personally think it was at least partially Obi-Wan's idea. Remember Yoda was going to reassign her if she was rejected by Anakin? I think she was sent there as a surprise to see how well it went and to sort of corner Anakin into giving it a shot.

  • hello Shells210 and welcome to scifi and fantasy StackExchange, please refrain from using the answer section to add details or personal thoughts on an answer or a question, and always try to provide solid proof or evidence for what you advance. Enjoy your stay mate ! :) Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 8:47

I think Master Yoda was testing Anakin to,see if he was mature enough to have a padawan. Anakin and Ahsoka have a sister-brother relationship with each other and once they get to know each other better they become inseparable. Anakin becomes protective of Ahsoka and literally does anything to keep her safe, from almost attacking a clone to almost beating information out of a hostage to find out where they were keeping his padawan. That's a side of Anakin I never want to see again. Sadly that will never happen seeing as he turned to the dark side to save Padme which goes in the opposite direction than he'd hoped for.

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